Successfully supporting veterans who are wounded, injured or sick in the workplace, requires an organisational culture of openness and inclusivity, and an understanding of how organisations can enhance the working environment for all their employees. You may wish to consider your policies and practice on recruitment, selection and in-work support. We have made some suggestions below on an organisational approach to employing wounded, injured or sick veterans:
The approach of your organisation will benefit from being one of openness and acceptance. Ensuring no prejudice or discrimination around anything that makes an individual different. Indeed, differences should be celebrated. Achieving this can seem like an onerous task but a few simple steps can put your business on the right route:
By reviewing policies and identifying and changing any areas that unconsciously open the process up to being discriminatory. For example;
Employee Assistance Programme
An employee assistance programme – whilst an expense – is a superb way to support all staff. Many organisations offer a service of this nature to their staff. The service can offer legal, medical and counselling support free of charge to all staff members.
Many organisations run celebratory days or weeks focusing on specific groups of staff within the workforce. BNP Paribas recently ran a LGBT week during which one of their senior staff described his story of being a gay male at work. When he returned to his office there were three members of staff there waiting to come out at work. Some of the top UK consultancy firms have Military networks that operate across a number of different spheres. They have networking events for members of their staff who are ex-Forces where there will be a speaker and then time to network. Awareness events can also be helpful, where those leaving the Forces can come along to find out more about what working for the company would be like.
Most businesses will now have employee groups representing many groups across the organisation. Examples of these are: LGBT, Race, Religion, Women, Veterans and Reservists, and Social Mobility.
The groups will come together on a regular basis to discuss issues specific to them. It is important that these groups are business focused and have a clear purpose. Without this they will find it difficult to maintain momentum. The LGBT group at a major entertainment network ran a campaign within schools “I’m Gay, Get Over It” encouraging youngsters to truly be themselves.
It is important that a culture of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) permeates the organisation. Looking at your values and ensuring they are perceived through a lens of D&I makes the difference. Most businesses have Innovation and Creativity as a value. What is creativity and innovation if not thinking in a more diverse way? By developing staff to think in this way, it will allow them to lead, manage and do their jobs while thinking in as broad and as inclusive a way as possible.